Avoiding Noise-Related Hearing Loss

Man with weedwacker wearing hearing protection cutting the grass

From sporting events to family get-togethers to fireworks displays to motorcycle rides, summer is filled with enjoyable activities. The majority of these activities are completely safe and healthy, but some do come with a risk of noise-related hearing loss. That’s because loud noises, over time, can damage your ability to hear. A loud motorcycle engine or the roar of a crowd could be contributing to long-term, noise-induced hearing loss.

What is noise-induced hearing loss? This condition happens when excessively loud noises, over time, cause damage to your hearing. The consequence of this exposure is loss of hearing. Noise-related hearing loss is effectively permanent.

There is no cure, though this type of hearing loss can be successfully managed. Raising your awareness of these common loud noises can help you better control risks and develop prevention strategies, so you can safeguard your hearing over the long run. You can protect the health of your hearing while still enjoying summer fun by making use of a few basic adjustments.

Is it actually that loud during the summer?

It can be very easy to overlook noise risks during the summer months. Some of the most prevalent hazardously loud noises include the following:

  • Sporting events: Any time you’re in loud crowds, you could increase your risk of noise damage (this can be even more prevalent at sporting events that feature motorized attractions, including a Nascar race or monster truck rally).
  • Fireworks events: Many areas have fireworks displays every month or more during the summer. From neighborhood parties to holiday celebrations to sporting events, fireworks shows are everywhere during the summer months. But fireworks shows are easily loud enough to cause irreversible hearing damage.
  • Loud concerts: Concerts put your hearing at risk even if they are outdoor concerts. These events are, after all, meant to be really loud.
  • Routine lawn care: This category includes chainsaws, weed wackers, leaf blowers, and lawnmowers. The powerful motors in many of these mechanical tools are incredibly loud. Motors that run on electricity instead of gas are normally quite a bit quieter, though.
  • Routine use of power tools: Home improvement projects are ideal activities during the summer. But power tools, in general, tend to be quite loud. The more you utilize these tools, the more your hearing hazard increases.
  • Driving: If you’re driving with the windows down, the wind noise can reach harmful volumes in your ears and this is even more significant if you drive a convertible. And the risk becomes exponentially worse the longer you are exposed.

The volume level that’s regarded as where damage begins to happen is about 85 dB. This is around the volume of a lawnmower, hair dryer, or a typical blender. That’s significant to take note of because these sounds may not seem particularly noisy. But the volume of these devices can cause hearing damage over time.

Preventing noise-induced hearing damage

Noise-related hearing loss impacts millions of individuals each year. And, unlike age-related hearing loss, noise-related hearing loss can happen at any age. Prevention is important for this precise reason. Here are some of the most helpful prevention strategies:

  • Get your hearing checked: Hearing loss usually doesn’t happen all of a sudden. It could take years to detect in many cases. Getting your hearing checked can help you identify whether you have noise-induced hearing loss. We’ll be able to go over how to prevent additional damage, which treatment solutions may be appropriate, and how to keep your hearing as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
  • Download a sound level detection app to your phone: You may be surprised at just how rapidly sounds can escalate above that 85dB danger zone volume. Even your earbuds and headphones can begin to do damage at these volume levels. You can become more conscious of when volume levels start to get too high by downloading a volume monitoring app for your cellphone.
  • Use disposable earplugs when you have to: Disposable earplugs aren’t as effective as more customized types, but they’re a lot better than nothing! If you find yourself abruptly in a noisy environment, a cheap pair of disposable earplugs can help prevent substantial hearing damage.
  • Wear hearing protection: If you can’t avoid noisy environments (or don’t want to miss out on particular enjoyable activities), you can get a pair of quality ear muffs or ear plugs. When you’re in locations that are too loud, use this protection to your advantage. This can help you avoid damage. You can be particularly benefited by making use of hearing protection costume made for you.
  • Turn down the volume at home: Simply reducing the volume on your TV and music playing devices can help give your ears some rest and a chance to recover. Damage will advance faster if you’re always listening to your devices at a high volume.
  • Limit your time in noisy environments: If your environment is really loud, you need to limit your exposure time. This can help protect against long-term damage to your hearing. Every thirty minutes or so, when you’re at a noisy sporting event, for instance, go and spend some time in a less noisy area.
  • Give your ears a break (and time to recover): Spend a quieter next day after attending a fireworks display. Additional and more significant damage can be prevented by giving your ears an opportunity to rest and recover.

You don’t need to resign yourself to getting noise-related hearing loss. Prevention strategies can help preserve your hearing. You can protect your hearing and enjoy fun activities in any season with the right approach.

Talking to us can help start your journey towards healthier ears and better hearing. Call today for an appointment!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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